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Visiting Writers Series

All events begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted below and are free of charge, but seating is limited.
The Forum, Goldsmith Campus
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA. 90045

September 4: Deb Olin Unferth

Deb Olin Unferth Deb Olin Unferth has published five books: the story collections Wait Till You See Me Dance and Minor Robberies, the graphic novel I, Parrot, in collaboration with the illustrator Elizabeth Haidle, the memoir Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, and the novel Vacation. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Granta, Vice, Tin House, NOON, the New York Times, and McSweeney’s. She has received four Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Capital grant, was a winner of the Cabell First Novel Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the St. Francis Literary Prize. Unferth founded and directs the Pen-City Writers, a creative-writing prison certificate program at the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum security penitentiary in southern Texas. She won the 2017 Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award for her work with the incarcerated. She also received the 2016 Civic Contribution Award from American Short Fiction magazine for this work. She is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches for the Michener Center for Writers and the New Writers Project.

September 25: Nina Revoyr

Nina Revoyr Nina Revoyr is the author of Southland, a Los Angeles Times bestseller and “Best Book” of 2003 and winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2004, and five other novels including most recently, A Student of History, as well asThe Age of Dreaming, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Wingshooters, which won an Indie Booksellers Choice Award and was selected by O Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” Revoyr was a longtime executive vice president and chief operating officer of a nonprofit organization serving children affected by violence and poverty in Los Angeles. She now works in philanthropy, as part of an effort to improve economic mobility for low-income children and their families. She has been an Associate Faculty member at Antioch University, and a Visiting Professor at Cornell University, Occidental College, Pitzer College, and Pomona College.

October 2: Chris L. Terry

Chris L. TerryChris L. Terry was born in Boston to an African-American father and Irish-American mother. He is the author of the novels Black Card, forthcoming in August 2019, and Zero Fade, which was on the Kirkus Reviews and Best of 2013 lists, and was short-listed for the American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. His work has been published in Hobart, Moon City Review, PANK, Best Small Fictions 2015, and elsewhere.

October 16: Xuan Juliana Wang

Xuan Juliana Wang Xuan Juliana Wang was born in Heilongjiang, China, and moved to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. She is the author of the story collection Home Remedies. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Narrative, The Cut, The Brooklyn Rail, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and received her MFA from Columbia University. She has received fellowships and awards from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ conference, Cite Des Arts International, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is a fiction editor at Fence and currently teaches at UCLA.

November 6: David Shields

David Shields David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including most recently The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power, as well as Reality Hunger, named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, a New York Times bestseller, Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Other People: Takes & Mistakes, a NYTBR Editors’ Choice. The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017. Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published in 2018. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and The Believer. His work has been translated into two-dozen languages.

November 20: Ramona Ausubel

Ramona Ausubel Ramona Ausubel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of two collections of short stories, Awayland, and A Guide to Being Born, which was a New York Times Notable Book, as well as two novels, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, which was a San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Best Book of the Year and a People magazine Book of the Week, and No One is Here Except All of Us. Winner of the Pen Center USA Literary Award for Fiction and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, she has also been a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Award and the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, the New York Times, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, and collected in The Best American Fantasy and online in The Paris Review. She has been a finalist for the Pushcart Prize and a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Ausubel has taught in the Low-Residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, has been a Visiting Professor at Colorado College, and is currently on the faculty at Colorado State University.

December 4: Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal Vanessa Angélica Villarreal is a poet, essayist, and artist born in the borderlands in McAllen, Texas. She is the author of the poetry collection Beast Meridian. She is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award, a 2018 Texas Institute of Letters Poetry Prize, and a 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award finalist. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the New York Times, Poetry Magazine, BuzzFeed, The Boston Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and is currently pursuing her doctorate in English Literature and Creative Writing at USC.

January 29: Álvaro Enrigue

Álvaro Enrigue Álvaro Enrigue is an award-winning author of six novels, three books of short stories, and one book of essays. His novel Sudden Death is his first translated into English and was awarded the prestigious Herralde Prize in Spain, the Elena Poniatowska International Novel Award in Mexico, the Barcelona Prize for Fiction, and has been translated into many languages. He was a Cullman Center Fellow and a Fellow at the Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies. He has taught at NYU, Princeton, the University of Maryland, and Columbia University. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, The White Review, n+1, London Review of Books, El País, among others.

February 5: Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh Ottessa Moshfegh’s first book, the novella McGlue, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her second novel, was a New York Times bestseller. Her third novel is titled Death in Her Hands and is forthcoming in April 2020.

February 26: Idra Novey

Idra Novey Idra Novey is the author of the novel Those Who Knew, which was a Best Book of 2018 with NPR, Esquire, BBC, Kirkus Review, O Magazine, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her first novel Ways to Disappear, received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Prize, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her poetry collections include Exit Civilian, selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series and a Best Book of 2012 by Cold Front Magazine and The Volta, and The Next Country, which was a finalist for the 2008 Foreword Book of the Year Award. With the artist Erica Baum, Novey collaborated on the book Clarice: The Visitor. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into ten languages and she’s written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, New York Magazine, and The Paris Review. She is the recipient of awards from the NEA, Poets & Writers Magazine, the PEN Translation Fund, and the Poetry Foundation. She has also translated the work of several prominent Brazilian writers, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. A collection of her co-translations with Ahmad Nadalizadeh of Iranian poet Garous Abdolmalekian is forthcoming with Penguin Press in 2020. She’s taught at Columbia University, NYU, Fordham, the Catholic University of Chile, and in the Bard Prison Initiative. Currently, she teaches fiction at Princeton.

March 11: Sawako Nakayasu

Sawako Nakayasu Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation. She has lived mostly in the US and Japan, briefly in France and China, and translates from Japanese. Her most recent books are The Ants and Texture Notes. Her recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika and Costume en Face, a translation of a handwritten notebook of Tatsumi Hijikata’s dance notations. Other books include Hurry Home Honey, and Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals, which is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. Her translation of Takashi Hiraide’s For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut received the 2009 Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent. She has received fellowships from the NEA and PEN, and her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese. She is co-editor, with Lisa Samuels, of A Transpacific Poetics, a gathering of poetry and poetics engaging transpacific imaginaries. Nakayasu has also appeared on Japanese television as a poetry judge for Zunou-ou (purportedly a contest of intellectual fortitude), made numerous performances and one short film, performed in a re-enactment of Yvonne Rainer’s Grand Union Dreams, directed by Yelena Gluzman, and Cornelius Cardew’s Paragraphs 4 & 7 from The Great Learning, directed by Tomomi Adachi. She currently teaches at Brown University in the Department of Literary Arts.

March 25: Sholeh Wolpé

Sholeh Wolpé Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-born poet, performer, writer, and literary translator. Wolpé’s literary work includes five collections of poetry, several plays, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Her most recent publications include The Conference of the Birds, Cómo escribir una canción de amor, and Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths. She has performed her literary work with world-renowned musicians at Quincy Jones Presents series on Broad Stage, Skirball Cultural Center Series, Los Angeles Aloud, LA County Museum of Art Ahmanson stage, Singapore Literature Festival, Brisbane Jazz Night with Ingrid James, UNSW School of Arts and Media theater, and other venues. The Inaugural Author in Residence at UCLA in 2018, she is the recipient of a 2014 PEN Heim, 2013 Midwest Book Award, the 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, as well as artist fellowships and residencies in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Australia and Switzerland. Her new play, an adaptation of The Conference of the Birds, recently premiered at The Ubuntu Theater in Oakland California. She has taught poetry and literary translation at UCLA and the University of Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program.

April 1: Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements, which won the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. A third novel, Great Circle, is on its way. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her writing has appeared many places, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Outside, and The Best American Short Stories. In 2012 and 2018, she was a National Magazine Award finalist for fiction.

April 15: Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s debut novel A Kind of Freedom was long-listed for the National Book Award. She is the author of the novel The Revisioners, forthcoming in November 2019. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been published in the New York Times Book Review,, Lenny Letter, The Massachusetts Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, and elsewhere. She studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and received her her JD from UC Berkeley School of Law. She was a recipient of the Lombard Fellowship and spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil rights organization and writing.